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Justice Rivera http://nycourts.law.com/CourtDocumentViewer.asp?view=Document&docID=56963 IN AN ACTION for specific performance of a real estate contract, the parties consented in open court to an order directing the closing. Defendants sellers moved to set aside this order claiming that their attorney did not adequately represent them. The court explained that a stipulation of settlement made by counsel in open court may bind his clients even where it exceeds his actual authority. It noted that strict enforcement served the interest of efficient dispute resolution and was essential to the management of court calenders and integrity of the litigation process. Moreover, it opined that third parties may rely on appearance of authority. Here, if found plaintiff’s reliance on the authority of defendant’s counsel to bind them was reasonable because the attorney had represented defendants at the time they entered into the contract of sale with plaintiff. Finding no fraud, collusion, mistake, or accident to invalidate the contract, it held defendants were bound by the stipulated order.

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